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A Minute with Miles: Live Orchestras

A Minute with Miles
Mary Noble Ours
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I play concerts for a living, so you wouldn’t think I’d need reminding of the dramatic difference between listening to a recording and hearing a live performance. But it was as an audience member, recently, not as a performer, that I had my reminder – and it was a pretty spectacular one, because I was lucky enough to attend a concert by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. 

The orchestra played music by Schubert and Carl Maria von Weber, and they premiered a wonderful new piece by my good friend Max Raimi, who is one of the most gifted contemporary American composers, and who also happens to play viola in the Chicago Symphony. Now it’s true that not every orchestra is the Chicago Symphony, but it’s also true that the level of playing in professional orchestras all around the country is remarkably high, and I’ll bet that within 25 miles of wherever you live there’s a symphony orchestra that plays beautifully. My advice? Buy a ticket and go hear them. And I promise it’ll be a thrill.

This has been A Minute with Miles – a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.

Miles Hoffman is the founder and violist of the American Chamber Players, with whom he regularly tours the United States, and the Virginia I. Norman Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chamber Music at the Schwob School of Music, in Columbus, Georgia. He has appeared as viola soloist with orchestras across the country, and his solo performances on YouTube have received well over 700,000 views.